Guild proposes to make employees whole after years of concessions

Bargaining Bulletin #10
San Francisco Chronicle Unit

In light of the Hearst Corp.’s continued stalling and inadequate offers, the Guild bargaining committee expanded its list of demands Monday during the latest round of contract talks.

The Guild had hoped to reach a quick settlement on a short list of economic proposals focusing on a need to rescue our deficit-plagued health care plan.  However, the Company has refused to put all its cards on the table.

Facing a company that refuses to stand by even its own meager proposals, the Guild sought to restore many of the sacrifices we made in past negotiations, such as the 37.5-hour workweek, paid internships, birthday and anniversary-of-hire holidays, and the right of new parents to work part time.

We also demanded a layoff moratorium, enhanced severance and other long overdue items.

We hope that the Company will see clear to offer a reasonable economic proposal that will spur us toward settlement.  On Friday, the Company flip-flopped, withdrawing its own proposal from just the day before, when it offered nothing more than a 1.5% annual increase in each year of a three-year contract.  But now the Company is refusing to say how many years it would give the pay increases – which in any case fall far short of what is needed to close the estimated $1.3 million annual deficit in our health care plan.

During Monday’s bargaining, we scaled back our initial economic proposal, which called for 4% annual raises over three years and $1 million each year for health care.  Now, we are demanding 3% a year higher pay and an additional $800,000 to divert per year into our health care trust.

We also asked Monday for information on management’s pay and health care contributions.

The two sides reached tentative agreements on a number of topics including sick leave, expenses and equipment.

Bargaining continues Wednesday in San Francisco, with a teleconference connection to New York, beginning at 10 a.m. in the Guild conference room on the 3rd floor.

A meeting for unit members has been scheduled for Thursday, October 4, 2012, at 5:30 p.m. in the North Beach conference room at The Chronicle.

Guild Bargaining Team: Mike Cabanatuan, Jon Ferguson, Matthai Kuruvila, Autumn Grace, Carl Hall. Kat Anderson, notetaker.

Management: Carolene Eaddy, Aryn Sobo, Peter Rahbar, Cathy Rommelfanger, Suzy Cain.

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Pacific Media Workers Guild

We are the Pacific Media Workers Guild, Local 39521 of The Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America. We represent more than 1,200 journalists and other media workers, interpreters, translators, union staffs and freelancers.